Solicitor’s Office Drops Charges Against Rock Hill Man Accused of Peeping on Women at Neighborhood Pool

UPDATE:  The Solicitor’s Office has dropped charges against a Rock Hill man accused of peeping on women at a neighborhood pool.

Sean Kilkenny is no longer being charged with voyeurism after police say he took cell phone pictures of women in bathing suits and used a GoPro camera to film them underwater.  WCCB is still working on the story.  Check back for updates.

The Solicitor’s Office released the following statement:

The charge of Voyeurism against Sean Kilkenny has been dismissed.  Voyeurism is defined under SC law as follows:

A person commits the crime of voyeurism if, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying sexual desire of any person, he or she knowingly views, photographs, audio records, video records, produces, or creates a digital electronic file, or films another person, without that person’s knowledge and consent, while the person is in a place where he or she would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

South Carolina Code of Laws 16-17-470(B) (1976, as amended) (emphasis added).

The photographs and filming in this case took place at a common pool for an apartment complex where Mr. Kilkenny resides.  Mr. Kilkenny was lawfully at the pool and the content in the photographs and videos was open to public view, meaning that there would be no reasonable expectation of privacy under the circumstances.  While the alleged conduct is perhaps concerning and distasteful, it does not rise to the level of criminal conduct.  By way of analogy, the alleged conduct is more akin to paparazzi-style photography of celebrities on public beaches than surreptitious recording of individuals in bathroom stalls where they would expect to have privacy.  Having become aware of the charge and the allegations thereof, justice required that the Solicitor’s Office take prompt action.

Original Story Posted June 5th:

ROCK HILL, SC – A Rock Hill man is in jail tonight accused of peeping on women at a neighborhood pool.

Police say he took cell phone pictures of women in bathing suits and used a GoPro camera to film them underwater.

47-year-old Sean Kilkenny is being held in the York County Jail on $25,000 bond charged with voyeurism first offense.

He was arrested at the Lexington Commons neighborhood pool off Celanese Road Friday afternoon.

An off-duty Rock Hill police officer became suspicious after seeing him taking pictures of several women.

“He also saw him going under the water, taking pictures of women in, basically, bikinis under the water,” explains Rock Hill Police Captain Mark Bollinger.

Police say it is a crime under South Carolina’s eavesdropping, peeping tom, and voyeurism statute.

“Basically it’s what you’re taking the pictures of and the persons permission,” Bollinger says.

And when police searched his phone they found zoomed in pictures of the women in their bathing suits.

Kilkenny was allowed to be at the pool because he lives in the neighborhood.

And attorneys say it’s a fine line to determine when an actual crime has been committed.

“There’s a lot of factors that come into play in these things. There’s obviously the balancing between one’s right to privacy vs. another persons right to take photographs in public and that sort of thing,” explains attorney Adam Seifer, of SeiferFlatow, PLLC.

Seifer is not involved in the case but says Kilkenny could have a strong defense if the case goes to court.

“He has access to be there and lesser expectation when you’re wearing a bikini laying out than you would be if you were laying at you’re own private pool, in your backyard, that kind of thing,” Seifer says.